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Are you a swan?

You know … flowing along gracefully and elegantly on the surface, but paddling frantically out-of-sight? If you are, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of it about.

For some swans, it’s all about having too much to do and too little time. Often it’s also about being a bit of a perfectionist and that’s OK. We all have our little traits, but we do have to guard against their becoming a stick to beat ourselves with. Busy people, achievers and planners don’t see themselves as needing help with getting stuff done … ‘cos they don’t. What they may need help with is … prioritising, delegating, setting boundaries and learning to say no. But they’re not good at asking … are they?

For some of those elegant birds, it’s about anxiety. Just to be sure, what we’re talking about here is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something that is happening or might happen in the future. Even the most competent and confident of swans can suffer and it can come as such a surprise that they’ll just flounder about, ‘cos this sort of thing doesn’t happen to them. Oftentimes it’s related to a bad experience in the past – one they’ve “put behind” them with rational reasoning, leaving the negative emotions to pop out when entirely unexpected. You see, emotions don’t always to get resolved with rational reasoning. But there are ways to combat the issue.

The best one is the “I’ll show ’em” option, so long as you can control the anxiety sufficiently to achieve your aim, that is. But if your anxiety is preventing that happening, there are other options available. One is the famed two-chair technique where you can tell that other person just what you think, where you can defend yourself eloquently, calmly and rationally instead of as the shocked and blubbing mess you once were and now regret. If you don’t fancy the verbal punchbag option, there’s a process where you get those emotions out in a safe place and can collapse their power by using wonderful and empowering emotions. And if the ‘other person’ is you, then forgiveness is long overdue, as is trust. Once again, there’s a lovely little technique that will help you with that.

So my swans, whatever category you fall in to, focus on calming those frantic legs, luxuriate in making that graceful and elegant image more than just surface only, and take the time to deal with your anxiety. For you could take a pill a day for the rest of your life but, unless it’s a chemical imbalance, it’s got to be worth spending some time on yourself first.

Whilst L’Oreal may have created a massive cliché, you truly are worth it.

© 2017 Caring Coaching

originally posted 13th November 2017